CRADOCK, Thomas (1633-90), of Harperley, co. Dur. and Cradock Hall, Richmond, Yorks.
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Family and Education
bap. 8 Apr. 1633, 1st s. of (Sir) Joseph Cradock by 1st w. educ. G. Inn 1650, called 1658; Trinity Hall, Camb., BA 1654, MA 1657. m. (1) 1662, Sibilla (d. 2 Mar. 1669), da. and coh. of Gabriel Clarke, DD, archdeacon of Durham, 1da.; (2) 21 Dec. 1671, Dorothy, da. of Nicholas Heath of Little Eden, co. Dur., 1s. d.v.p. suc. fa. 1686.1
Fellow of Trinity Hall, Camb. 1658-62; attorney-gen. to bp. of Durham 1664-72; j.p. co. Dur. 1666-?83, Yorks. (N. Riding) 1677-80; commr. for assessment, co. Dur. 1667-80, (N. Riding) 1679-80, co. Dur. and N. Riding 1690; recorder, Richmond 1669-84, ?Oct. 1688-d., commr. for recusants, co. Dur. 1675; commissary, archdeaconry of Richmond 1681-d.2
Cradock broke with the ecclesiastical tradition of his family to the extent of becoming a common lawyer; but he married the daughter of a church dignitary who brought him a substantial fortune. He became recorder of Richmond in 1669 and was returned for the borough at the next general election ten years later. Shaftesbury classed him as ‘honest’, but he left no trace on the records of the first Exclusion Parliament, and probably paired on the bill. Nevertheless he was removed from the North Riding bench in 1680. His only committee in the second Exclusion Parliament was to examine the disbandment accounts. He was replaced by the court supporter John Darcy in the Oxford Parliament, and lost his recordership under the new charter. However he succeeded his father as commissary, and regained his seat in 1685 on the corporation franchise. A moderately active Member of James II’s Parliament, he was appointed to five committees, including those on the bills to prevent theft and rapine on the northern border, to prohibit the import of tallow candles, and to relieve insolvent debtors. He succeeded to his father’s estate, valued at £600 p.a. in the following year. In September 1688 the King’s agents reported that he would be elected at Richmond and was considered favourable to the repeal of the Test Act and Penal Laws. In fact Cradock does not seem to have stood in 1689, possibly because of failing health, since he died on 25 Feb. 1690 and was buried in Durham Cathedral. In his will he mentioned £10,085 in money and investments. The next member of the family to sit in Parliament was Sheldon Cradock, who was returned for Camelford in 1830.3